The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-1 on the road against the San Diego Gulls Saturday night at the Valley View Casino Center.
This was a far cry from the Admirals previous performance last night. It was once again played under difficult circumstances for the forward group playing a man down with defenseman Trevor Murphy acting as a left winger. He did tack on a primary assist to go with his six-point performance last night but that was it tonight. The speed of the Admirals offense was neutralized by the strength of the Gulls who took and held a lead after a stretch of three-minutes that saw them score three goals.
Scoring wouldn’t factor into this game until the second period but, when it did, it came in frantic fashion for the home-side. Kyle Bonis, Chris Mueller, and Kyle MacKinnon all scored within a span of 2:35 for the Gulls to give them a 3-0 lead. In the second period they only had five shots on goal – three of them beat Juuse Saros.
The Admirals finally gave Anton Khudobin something to think about following a slashing call against Stu Bickel. Trevor Murphy patiently waited for an opening as he passed across the mouth of goal to the left wing backdoor where Stefan Elliott was able to bury his fourth goal and fourth scored on the power-play this season.
With 2:56 remaining in regulation Antoine Laganière slashed the stick of Frédérick Gaudreau to give the Admirals a last dash chance to draw back into this contest. Saros made his way to the bench at 2:29 remaining and, not long after that, Bonis pushed the puck away into the empty net for his second goal of the game to make it a 4-1 Gulls lead.
Khudobin stopped 30/31 shots on goal tonight. There were many quality scoring chances that he needed to deny so credit the Gulls defense, especially their physicality through the neutral zone, in slowing down the Admirals tonight. Saros takes the loss in net for the Admirals. It’s his sixth loss from twenty-one starts. He stopped 20/23 shots on goal tonight as the Admirals six-game point streak came to an end.
Ramblings: For the second consecutive night the Milwaukee Admirals played without two forwards, dressed Trevor Murphy as a left winger, and started the contest down a skater. Tonight’s line combinations were: White-Sissons-Görtz, Murphy-Gaudreau-Payerl, Devane-Girard-Pendenza, Fiala-(No Forward)-Åberg, Oligny-Elliott, Näkyvä-Mullen, Alm-Aronson. Tonight’s scratches were: Cody Hodgson (illness), Max Reinhart (Personal Reasons), Vladislav Kamenev (lower-body), and Jonathan Diaby (upper-body). Tonight’s game saw the return of Juuse Saros in net for the Admirals after Marek Mazanec started the last four-consecutive games. The last time Saros started in net was 1/16/16 in San Antonio where he made twenty-two saves and allowed three goals en route to his fifteenth win of the season.
What’s your reaction to this game? Can you give credit the the Gulls defense tonight or were the Admirals forwards gassed after playing effectively two-men down in two-days?